October 15, 2010

LAS VEGAS SLOTS vs. Electronic Voting Machines.

UPDATE: Reader Pierre Honeyman says this is wrong:

I used to work for Diebold Elections Systems/Premier Election Solutions. I’ve been through the entire certification process with them and I’m quite familiar with it. Anyhow:

1) Software:

For all certified (certified by the FEC) software the source code is submitted for review to a certified independent testing authority. When software is tested by them the ITA uses a “trusted build”, that is, they use a build from the source code that they’ve reviewed, that they’ve built from vendor documentation, and digitally signed (signatures are kept on file with the FEC). It is this software, and only this software, that is considered to be certified by the FEC.

2) Spot Checking:

It is certainly possible for election officials to spot check vendor equipment. Hardware and software signatures are available with the certification documentation. Only hardware/software that meets that configuration is considered certified by the FEC.

3) Background scrutiny:

I don’t know what federal law requires but all software programmers at Premier had to undergo a background check, including criminal records check, before being hired.

4) Equipment Certification:

Equipment and software certification is done to standards set by the FEC, using test plans approved by the FEC, at test facilities independent from the vendor. For profit? Please. Is “For Profit” suddenly evil?

5) Handling disputes:

That will vary by jurisdiction and is, for the most part, out of the hands of the vendor.

I still like paper ballots.

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